New survey of 25 of the world’s leading airlines in June 2020 has identified 10 key strategies that are boosting traveler confidence during the pandemic.
- Spray and wipe disinfecting: The passenger cabins of the world’s airline fleet should be sparkling clean after all the spray-wipe-repeat activity promised by airlines. Without exception, carriers describe a cleaning regimen occurring before flights and becoming more robust during overnight stops.
- Electrostatic antiviral spraying: This method, widely used by US-based airlines, dispenses disinfectant with a mild positive electrical charge. The small particles are then attracted to cabin surfaces as these have a natural neutral or negative charge. It’s a very effective method to coat every surface such as overhead bins, seats, air nozzles and light controls, and tray tables.
- Face covering required: All airlines in the survey, with the exception of Qantas, require passengers to wear face coverings. Air France, as a result of home government regulation, requires passengers to upgrade to surgical masks.
- Care kits for travellers: Items provided free of charge to passengers may include some or all of these elements: face mask, sanitizing wipes, and sanitizing liquid.
- Temperature check required: It’s difficult to discern from airline websites if these checks are administered by an airline (such as Air Canada and Frontier) or by airport authorities, especially at major hub locations.
- Cabin baggage restrictions (CB): Airlines restrict carry-on bags to create a safer and less congested boarding and deplaning process.
- Hand sanitizer (HS): The table reflects airlines that indicate the availability of hand sanitizer in gate areas and on aircraft.
- Middle seat kept empty (MS)
- Protective equipment for cabin crew (PE): Beyond the provision of a higher quality mask, some airlines provide cabin crew with clear face shields or goggles, and plastic blouses/aprons.
- Spraying or fogging disinfectant (SD)
The table below displays the results of a review of 25 leading network airlines and low-cost carriers grouped by global region.